And I love the fact that this organization helps all kids. A young man from Houston is participating in the Lemonade Day program to raise money for a new building for his school? Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that he rocks an extra chromosome?
Lemonade Day teaches more than how to succeed in business
Every Friday without fail, David Rocha walks a few blocks to the neighborhood corner store and picks up a lottery ticket. Then on Sundays he flips through the real estate section of the paper.
"We can't make money fast enough," he says.
What Rocha wants to do is purchase a new building for his school. Rocha has Down Syndrome, but the 23-year-old understands that there are many more like him that need a place where they can continue learning. With the aid of friends at the Down Syndrome Association of Houston(DOAH), Rocha is raising money by putting up a stand for the Lemonade Day, set for Sunday throughout the city of Houston.
More than a reason to make the zesty beverage, Lemonade Day offers participants a comprehensive course of study that touches on the many facets of managing a successful business like budgeting, setting goals, advertising, purchasing, costing and accounting. But just as important as making a profit is the responsibility of what to do with it.
That's the basis for Lemonade Day's three money principles: Save some, spend some and share some. As such, a group of participants, including Rocha, is taking these tenets to heart to affect change in their own communities.
A capital campaign for Down Syndrome Association of Houston
DOAH is bursting at the seams: The center is over capacity with a waiting list of more than 75.
"I am learning how to make money, count money — we have been practicing with paper money and plastic dolls."
Through a three-day per week education program, Gymboree for babies, music therapy, a summer enrichment class, bingo, socials for adults and a support system for families, the northwest Houston school serves more than 1,200 families. But that's just not enough.
A new building could expand DOAH's reach and fulfill its plan to become an immersive resource center for 250 more.
"David knows how essential his school is for his own development," Rosa Rocha, David's mother, says. "After he graduated high school, David realized he was forgetting things he had learned and mastered. People with Down Syndrome have to be challenged continuously to retain skills needed for good healthy living."
Rosa Rocha is the volunteer chair of a $2 million capital campaign for a new home for DOAH, but the idea to help fundraise came from the students.
For Krista Bearden, a 23-year-old Crosby resident receiving therapy from DOAH, it was important to support the efforts as well. "I am learning how to make money, count money — we have been practicing with paper money and plastic dolls," she says.
Food retailer Kroger has stepped up to the plate with a money challenge: The grocer will match dollar for dollar up to $3,000 of the profits made by DOAH's lemonade stands, which will be set up at 10 Kroger locations around Houston.
Florida bound: Boys and Girls Country
The counselors at Boys and Girls Country, a nonprofit children's home, apply the Lemonade Day lessons to foster financial literacy. Such knowledge, says education coordinator Kristi Avoli, is essential to help kids grow from childhood into adulthood.
"We had a big line at our stand. Even though it was a contest, we helped other kids get their stands ready. I just wanted everyone to be happy."
This year, close to 30 young residents, who are placed in the center's cottages voluntarily, will participate in Lemonade Day at Boys and Girls Country. Their ultimate goal is to garner funds to take a three-day summer beach vacation in Florida.
"We help families in crisis," Avoli explains. "Part of creating a normalized nurturing environment is also giving the kids a vacation. For our children, some who have no families and others who otherwise would live in cars, it's something they look forward to with excitement."
Miron Gelmesa, 14, thinks Lemonade Day is really cool.
"I was really surprised to see so many people at the (Lemonade Day Best Tasting Contest)," he says. "We had a big line at our stand. Even though it was a contest, we helped other kids get their stands ready. I just wanted everyone to be happy."
|A new building could expand Down Syndrome Association of Houston's reach and fulfill its plan to become an immersive resource center for 250 more. The students are helping out by participating in Lemonade Day.|
Lemonade Day Houston is on Sunday. Participating students all over the city will put up stands to earn your business. To find a specific location,click here.